This morning we took a closer look at the photo I created using the square with a whole load of their ideas and constructions on it... and we looked at images of benches, climbing frames, water play, castles, etc etc etc that they got to talk about point at what they liked and consider again what they would like on "their" square...
A play castle... water play... balloons (take away the cupcake) were amongst the ideas that were being discussed...
We then went out into the square with chalks and the children got drawing their ideas and the locations of where these should be on the square. Some of the children were very focused... other wereinterested in exploring how the chalks felt and worked (including colouring their clothes... hohum - good thing its easy to get off!!)
|a reminder of the photo of the square full of the children's ideas|
|chalk designs and planning|
What is interesting with the square is that it is not devoid of risk... today there was broken glass... the children had to learn about it being sharp, and that avoiding that area was in fact the safest. Today there were lots of cars going across the square 8which is usually just a pedestrian square... but does has access for some vehicles). today it was a police car that went back and forth. The children have to stand still until we say that its safe to play again... so that the vehicles know what the children are doing... it has been a process, and luckily the cars here HAVE to go real slow as its not a road, so it is a great place to practice... but for some of the children the need to move that bit more is just to irresistable - and so we need to stay closer to those children to support their ongoing process.
It is a risk... a VERY small one... and I remeber as a child how I played on the street with my friends... we were lucky as we lived at the end of a cul-de-sac.... but I still get nostalgic when the word "CAR" is shouted out... and how a whole gaggle of children moved their play off the road onto the paths and waited for the car to go past until we could reclaim the road with our play.
It felt a little like that today on the square... that we were claiming it for the children's play.... and leaving our play mark afterwards as a reminder that this is a space for play too!